Pickled aubergine

Pickled aubergine

Melanzane sott’aceto

4 x 400g jars
Laura Edwards

In the south of Italy, the cuisine is characterized by the wonderful vegetables that they can grow. They cook them there in an infinite number of ways, but I don’t know of any Pugliese or Calabrian who wouldn’t eat this as an antipasto. In season, they have so many aubergines (eggplants) that they have to find some way of using them up.

Not long ago I was in Australia, and one day a member of the public came up to me and presented me with a little jar. She said, ‘My mother made this specially for you.’ And it was this aubergine pickle…

You could add chilli to this if you like, which adds an interesting piquancy. Just make sure that it is cooked and preserved like the aubergine and garlic.


Quantity Ingredient
2kg aubergines, trimmed and peeled
1.5 litres very good white wine vinegar
4-6 large garlic cloves, peeled
freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil, as required
1 tablespoon dried oregano
a few salted capers, desalted and finely chopped


  1. Prepare the aubergines. Cut them into lengthways slices 3cm thick. Then cut each slice into 3cm thick strips.
  2. Pour the vinegar and the same amount of water into a large saucepan, and add the aubergine, garlic and 10g of salt. Bring to the boil, then cook at a simmer for about 8 minutes. The aubergine strips should not be too soft. Drain and leave to cool. Discard the liquid, but keep the garlic.
  3. Squeeze some of the excess liquid out of the aubergine strips, then put them into a bowl. Mix them with enough olive oil just to coat, along with the oregano and capers.
  4. Put the aubergines and garlic into sterilized jars. Cover everything with extra virgin olive oil. You can keep this for some time.
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